Blackened Cod is a spicy, smoky, and delicious preparation that leaves a charred crust on your fish outside, and delicate inside. It’s a family favorite here – especially in hot weather!Jump to Recipe
I am so freaking excited to be finally sharing this recipe with you all. The main reason is because of the memories this dish brings back for me and my husband.
The first time either of us ever had blackened fish was in Maui on our honeymoon. We both vividly remember going to this very well-known fish restaurant right across from the beach. The line was long, but we knew it would be worth it – and boy was it! We’re still talking about it years later!
You basically picked your type of fish and then picked the preparation you wanted (blackened, cajun, sauteed, etc). We both got fresh-caught mahi mahi (probably caught that same day) & had it blackened and fried to perfection. Blackened crust on the outside and flaky delicate meat on the inside.
They served it with yellow rice (like a classic Caribbean side dish) and some nice cool cole slaw. Tons of lemon and house made tartar sauce as well. Needless to say, we inhaled our fish, savoring every bite, sitting on picnic tables watching the sun go down over the Pacific.
So, to reminisce on all the good feelings from that memory, we make blackened fish quite frequently. Sometimes we use frozen Mahi Mahi (no fresh caught on the coast of NJ!), halibut, tilapia, or cod. Either way, they all come out fantastic even if we’re not looking out over the Pacific as we eat them!
I promise this recipe is going to be a big hit in your home, just because it’s so different from the way many of us eat seafood – if at all! My husband has actually said, “this is the only way I want to eat fish now”.
All this blackened cod recipe calls for is some blackening seasoning, lemons, oil, and tartar sauce! No need to be fancy.
This is a perfect recipe for summer and hot weather, but honestly, it’s a great option for any time of year too.
Okay, here’s a breakdown of what you’ll need to make this blackened cod recipe:
Fish fillets – Here I’m obviously using cod, but truly any flaky white fish will be perfect here, though salmon would work as well. Other white fish you could use are tilapia, halibut, pollock, haddock, or if you’re lucky to have fresh mahi mahi – definitely that!
Spice blend – I usually use a premade blackening spice blend such as McCormick’s, but you can also make your own spice rub. Spices typically used in a spice rub include: paprika, smoked paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, oregano, salt, and pepper.
Oil – You can use vegetable or canola oil, but stay away from olive oil as its smoke point is lower than the others.
Lemons and tartar sauce – I always have these on hand for blackening fish as the lemon adds a bright citrus flavor and the cool tartar sauce compliments the spicy, smoky fish so well.
A quick overview of how to make your blackened cod:
STEP 1: First you’ll prep your cod by patting it dry to take away any excess moisture. Then you’ll season the fish with a squeeze of half a lemon and by seasoning with blackening spice on all sides of the cod.
STEP 2: Heat a large non stick skillet or cast iron skillet on medium-high heat and add in your oil.
STEP 3: Once hot, turn on your exhaust fan, and add in your fish to the sizzling oil. The blackening will smoke a bit because of all the spices, but that’s okay as long as you have your exhaust fan on and windows open if necessary.
STEP 4: As the fish cooks, a blackened crust will form (about 3 minutes) Flip the cod with a large spatula once it starts to look a bit flakier. The best way to do this is to flip it away from you, in case you splatter any oil it doesn’t go in your direction. Cook another 3 minutes.
- To get the blackened crust to come out perfect – the blackening seasoning, oil, and heat do all the work so you really don’t have to do much of anything. Just make sure the heat is high enough and it’s not creating too much smoke.
- The fish will actually release from the pan once it’s ready to flip. Don’t force it or you’ll risk ripping it, especially cod because it’s more delicate and flakier than other white fishes.
What to serve alongside blackened fish?
Okay here’s the deal. If you read my story at the top, you probably already know my answer to this question. Since having this dish in Maui, I always serve my blackened fish the same way – alongside some yellow rice and cole slaw, complete with lemon slices and tartar sauce.
- Yellow rice: Make white rice as you normally would, but mix in about 1-2 tsp of turmeric, ½ tsp of the blackening spice, salt, and butter.
- Cole Slaw: Get a bag of cabbage slaw that’s already shredded for you. Then in a large bowl, you can mix it into a store-bought dressing or homemade. For homemade, all you have to add is mayo, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and a little bit of sugar.
One side dish I also love to serve with seafood is a mango salsa. You can add mango, tomato, red onion, avocado, etc. Anything fresh would pair so well here!
What to do with leftover blackened fish?
In the chance you made too much fish and you’re wondering what to do with your leftover fish, make fish tacos! Get some corn tortillas, turn ripe avocados into a crema, add some diced toppings and voila! Another completely delicious way to eat blackened fish.
One serving of blackened fish contains 243 calories, 26 grams of protein, 0 grams of carbs, and 15 grams of fat
AS ALWAYS, IF YOU MAKE THIS – PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW!
- 1 lb cod fillets
- 4 tbsp blackening spice
- 1 lemon
- 4 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
- Tartar sauce if desired
First prep your cod by setting it on a plate and patting it dry. Then squeeze the juice of half a lemon on top. Season all of the cod on each side with all of the blackening spice.
Heat a large nonstick skillet on medium high heat and add in your oil.
Once hot, turn on your exhaust fan, and add in your fish. The oil should be sizzling. The blackening will smoke a bit because of all the spices, but that’s okay as long as you have your exhaust fan on and windows open if necessary.
Flip the cod very carefully with a large spatula once it starts to look a bit flakier. A blackened crust will have formed on the other side, about 3 minutes. Cook another 3 minutes until it’s finished.
Serve with more lemon wedges and tartar sauce. Side dish ideas listed above.
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